On the leading edge of the Gen X cohort (that is, somewhat beyond “early to mid career”), I remember receiving my first work email address and being shown a web browser by a student worker at the university in Seattle, where I was a transcript evaluator in the early 1990s.
Later, influenced in part by the FIRE (Financial Independence, Retire Early) classic, Your Money or Your Life, I lived on the cheap in Southern California while working as an admin in the mortgage industry through Y2K (a Very Big Deal in our IBM AS/400 shop) and saving as much money as I could. After cashing out my employee stock options shortly before the housing crash of 2008, I took an open-ended sabbatical and volunteered for an urban farm outreach program.
Looking back, I see how I could have benefited from having a more structured, long-term financial plan. It is gratifying to see some of our clients come to a time in their lives where they can step away from the paid workforce—if they wish—before the traditional retirement age, either temporarily or ongoing.
I might also have benefited from an objective, supportive adviser who might have encouraged me to buy that starter home in Pasadena when I didn’t know if I could or should.
Setting aside any coulda shoulda wouldas, my life now is in the beautiful Pacific Northwest on my family’s small farm with its legacy red barn, a couple cows and their calves, and a flock of chickens. I appreciate the convenience of my virtual administrative and logistical position at Flow. Being able to check on the calves and chickens between filling out forms is a valued perk!
I am a Financial Paraplanner Qualified Professional™ (FPQP®).